Flurry of Eagles offseason activity an indicator of team-building philosophy

When the Eagles signed tight end Zach Ertz to a five-year, $42 million contract extension earlier this week, NJ.com's Mark Eckel unveiled an interesting nugget as to how these types of decisions signified the organization's strategy of rebuilding the roster

The Eagles' plan is to build a good foundation on both sides of the ball. They are going to have draft well — that hasn't been Roseman's strength — to get more impact players on the roster.

As far as quarterback, they'll wait, or try to get lucky with a young guy who will be ready about the same time the roster is. Some call this the "Seattle Way'' because it's kind of how the Seahawks built their championship team. Instead of getting the quarterback and building around him, they fortified the roster, then found a quarterback to insert.

Can it work for the Eagles? It looks like they're going to try.

Before having to pay Russell Wilson top-tier money for his position, the Seahawks benefitted from the former third-round pick earning the type of salary that goes along with his draft slot. Seattle has boasted one of the more talented rosters in football since Wilson took over during the 2012 season and have established themselves as the most consistent NFC contender thanks in large part to how they drafted and secured their primary contributors.

Sure enough, the Eagles have continued to prioritize their homegrown talent. On Friday, the team inked 2013 4th overall pick Lane Johnson to a six-year deal that will make him the highest paid right tackle in football. Many project Johnson as the eventual replacement for incumbent left tackle Jason Peters.

By paying Johnson this early in his career, the Eagles can account for his premium rate when he does make the move to the left side of the line all while avoiding any sort of locker room issue if Peters remains at his current spot for the 2016 season.

Howie Roseman's strategy is straight out of the Joe Banner playbook of locking up young talent with multi-year deals before they can maximize their earning potential. While the Eagles do run the risk of Johnson not being able to live up to the billing of  a top-five selection, they also give themselves the opportunity to pay a marked-down price for a premium position if Johnson does continue his progression. Similarly, the Eagles are gambling on Zach Ertz reaching the potential he has flashed at various points of his career knowing the benefits should it pay off.

As many have reported, the Eagles are also making an effort to secure the futures of defensive players such as Fletcher Cox and Vinny Curry to solidify the future of that side of the ball. 

By identifying and locking up the pieces with which the team wants to go forward with, the front office is making an attempt to restore a level of stability to a franchise that has been known for the opposite over the past few seasons. The strategy comes with its own risks and potential pitfalls, but allows a new coaching regime to operate in a relatively chaos-free environment. 

Should this strategy as far as the Eagles approach to team-building hold true, one would have to think that quarterback Sam Bradford is not in the team's future plans. The nature of their big-money deals with some of the younger players would likely allow for them to use the franchise tag option on Bradford for the 2016 season, but anything other than a team-friendly deal — almost non-existent when it comes to the QB position — is likely out of the question for the time being.

Judging by some of their coaching hires, the Eagles seemed intent on fostering an environment that could be conducive to a young quarterback. Head coach Doug Pederson, offensive coordinator Frank Reich and quarterbacks coach John DeFilippo all have extensive experience dealing with signal-callers at various stages of their careers. Reich and Pederson both played the position professionally, and DeFilippo has had a hand in helping the development of players like Derek Carr.

If the Eagles do what many expect them to and select a quarterback at some point during the 2016 NFL Draft, they will be able to offer a wealth of knowledge and resources in terms of tutelage. 

Jeffrey Lurie has made it clear that the Eagles are in the process of adding another individual to their front office structure in some sort of personnel capacity. That being said, Howie Roseman's fingerprint is all over the early portion of the 2016 offseason.

The Joe Banner protege has taken advantage of his acumen in cap management and contract negotiations to eliminate as much uncertainty as possible in his re-ascension to power in the Eagles front office.

Until Roseman, along with whatever additions to the personnel department, can prove their worth when it comes to draft time, there will still be questions as to whether he can handle the responsibilities on his plate. What Roseman has been able to accomplish since the end of the 2015 season is re-establish an order and direction when it comes to constructing a roster with long and short-term sustainability. 

Somers Price is a contributing writer for Eagledelphia. Follow him on Twitter @somersprice.

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